Author Archives: Garat

About Garat

Uber Entertainment Producer, 15+ years in the games industry. Credits include: Asheron’s Call, Zoo Tycoon 2, Supreme Commander, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, Demigod, and BioShock 2.

Alpha Access – Price Drop!

Planetary Annihilation is about to enter the third month of being in the hands of our fans, with just about one month left in our alpha period. In that time, we have already seen the following core features come online since the first alpha build:

  • Windows 64 & 32 bit, Mac OS/X and Linux platforms all playable
  • Increased max game size from 4 players to a max of 10 in team gameplay. This will continue to increase as we build and optimize.
  • Planet Editor and Playable Custom Planets
  • Second commander added, with many more to be viewable and playable in game in the coming months
  • AI – Still a work in progress, but it will continue to grow!
  • First pass of matchmaking system – will continue to grow and evolve as we go
  • More general gameplay improvements than can be easily detailed in what is supposed to be a short update!
  • Significant enhancements to user feedback
  • Wide range of performance improvements, and we’re not even focused on that yet!

The remarkable thing about this list is it only touches on the actual changes in the build since the original alpha build. On the back end, a huge amount of work has been ongoing for reconnaissance, server technology, supporting multiple simultaneous celestial bodies (multi planet wars), and even larger play sessions, with the ultimate goal of 40 person drop in/drop out games that could span days.

With this in mind, and to make it easier to get in to the alpha who have been waiting patiently, we are dropping the price of the Galactic Edition to $70 USD. We are almost two thirds of the way through the alpha period, so we decided to drop two thirds off the alpha premium. This means if you were a beta player and want instant access, you can go our website and upgrade for $10. If you had a retail copy, you can upgrade for $30. Steam Early Access price is also dropping to $70!

The other big announcement is: due to more flexibility with our manufacturing now, we are bringing back the Cosmic Collector’s Edition of PA. It’s the same price as before, and includes all the same bonuses as before, including the collector’s edition box, and we will leave it available for sale for as long as possible. If you bought any other version through us, you can upgrade it the same as before.

We are excited about the current state of the game, and even more excited about the things to come soon. Beta is getting close, and with it, a huge number of new players who will be joining in the war for galactic supremacy, and helping us to mold the next generation of massive scale real time strategy gaming.

Head to http://store.uberent.com now to see the updated pricing, and if you’ve already purchased, login and select the “Upgrade” button to get access now!

Thanks to everyone for your support so far, and make sure to hop on to the forums and join in the conversation!

Planetary Annihilation Alpha: AI, Custom Planets and more

We pushed a new build yesterday, 51118, that continues building on the features needed to fully realize the vision of Planetary Annihilation. In addition to AI continuing to see improvements, you can now play on custom planets! Other back end work has been going on that will enable both orbital units, and eventually, full planet to planet gameplay! We’re very excited about the state of the game already, and that’s knowing there are many more cool features still to come.

If you want to get in the conversation, please join us on our forums, on reddit, or on Steam! And without further delay, the build notes:

Current Build: 51118
Date: July 23rd, 2013
Windows Versions: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (64 & 32 bit)
Mac OS/X: 10.7 & 10.8
Linux: Ubuntu 12.04 & 13.04 (And derivatives); See here for other distro’s that are working (Need alpha forum access)
Build 51118:
  • Custom Planets: As the next step into getting the system builder online, you can now save and load (and play) custom planets! A couple caveats: If you see the word “experimental” show up in the planet builder, it means the server will not allow that planet. On planets larger than 1km diameter, you will probably see increased slow down, especialy with larger games. Currently playable games are at 1500, but we’ll need to spend some time on performance and optimization before we open it up further. Even at 1500, games can really slow down. Lastly, things will break. This is a big change, and an important one. We imagine there will be some crashes, and we’ll be fixing them as rapidly as we can. 
  • AI is actively building now. It’s still not a “smart” AI, but if you leave the AI alone for extended periods, be prepared for pretty large bombing raids. No more AI building stacking, sorry all. It does still cheat quite a bit, however.
  • You can select the alpha or delta commander (Just click on your commander icon in the lobby – the current images are placeholder, and are incorrect).
  • Alpha and delta both have their right foot back. Poor guys.
  • Metal is back underwater now. It’s hard to spot, but if you use the magnetic property of them, you can still fairly quickly place them.
  • Significant pathing changes. In most cases, it should still be better, but we’re working hard to find where it still breaks. If you find consistently reproable pathing issues, PLEASE get a thread started in the Alpha forums. If you had one weird thing happen that one time, that’s significantly less helpful. 🙂
  • Air units should handle patrol paths much better now
  • Text input now support: copy/paste, text selection, the ‘>’ character
  • Combat units should now keep their turret pointed in the direction of the last enemy. This will need tuning. It’s great for artillery and laser defense, but mobile units may see weird behavior. Please post on the forums if you run into problems or find clearly undesirable turret behavior.
  • Build bar now supports tabs; Use b to tab through them (they don’t accept mouse clicks yet); Still WIP to get all the units sorting in an ideal fashion

Mac and Win 32 : Play now on Alpha!

With the release of our latest build, 50083, we now have official support for 32 bit variants of Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Additionally, while we’ve had Macintosh builds going out for a few weeks now, today’s build marks a significant improvement in playability on Mac OS/X 10.7 and 10.8 – sorry, 10.6 is not supported, due to a combination of middleware compatibility issues and architectural design concerns. You can download Mac and Linux builds through Steam, or directly through this link (requires an alpha enabled account).

If you are part of the alpha, and haven’t played in a while, or have been waiting on one of these, now is the time to hop in! The game itself also continues to grow, gain more features, fix more bugs (and create a few new ones as we go), and is already a lot of fun to play.

If you’re not already in part of the alpha, you can upgrade existing early backing or orders at our store. If you just learned about the game, you can buy it at our store or through Steam.

Finally, we will be having a LiveStream this friday at 1PM (1300) Pacific Daylight Time. Please join us at http://twitch.tv/uberchannel to see the progress of the project so far!

The official build notes for 50083:

Planetary Annihilation

Current Build: 50083
Date: June 26th, 2013
  • Windows Versions: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (64 & 32 bit)
  • Mac OX/S: 10.7 & 10.8 – Please try again if you haven’t played in a while! Mac stability is drastically improved
  • Linux: Ubuntu 12.04 & 13.04 (And derivatives); See here for other distro’s that are working (Need alpha forum access)

If you are playing on Linux or Mac at this early stage, please join us on the forums for discussion and ongoing bug fixes. These builds are still very early. If you don’t wish to play through steam for them, you can download directly from http://uberent.com/launcher/padownloads – Mac and Linux only, these are full builds until we get our stand alone launcher working.

Build 50083:
  • 32 Bit Windows Support: Download the launcher or via steam, and the executable should automatically detect your OS, preferentially choosing 64 bit if available
  • Mac build should be significantly more playable now; Please report new problems to http://forums.uberent.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=73
  • Auto weapon tick sped up again
  • Subs should move now; Underwater is weird
  • Sound cues for various states (low metal, low energy, commander under attack, C and F to select commander/fabbers)
  • Balance changes
Some notes on known working distributions of Linux:
  • Ubuntu 12.04 / 13.04
  • Linux Mint 14 / 15
  • ArchLinux 64bit: Symlink libudev.so.1 to libudev.so.0 workaround still required
  • debian stable (wheezy) – newer libc6 needed
  • debian testing (jessie) – no modifications
  • Gentoo x64 with open-source radeon r600 driver — also ok. All the graphic stack is from the unstable (~) tree, mesa and LLVM from the git with the r600 LLVM compiler enabled. Apart from libudev fix — no special treatment was involved, just the standard 3D hardware support.

Planetary Annihilation Alpha Weekend One

We had a pretty amazing first weekend of alpha for Planetary Annihilation. Since the first few keys started trickling out last Wednesday, til early on Saturday when every current key had been sent out, we saw over 7000 people connect to the servers and play at least one game! In addition to seeing a majority of our Alpha players connect, we also got a number of updates pushed over the end of last week and through the weekend.

We’re already hard at work getting the next set of features, fixes and updates ready to go, and we expect we’ll have a similarly impressive list of new things in the game by this time next week! It’s been a great start to alpha, and we expect it to just get better from here.

Just to give a snapshot of the updates done so far, here’s a selection of our build notes from the past week. Bug fixes, some new features, etc. We actually clamped down heavily on new features going in at first to keep stability as high as possible, and still had a very sizable list of changes over the course of about five days.

Build Notes 49034 through 49186:

  • Fixed approximately 10 different potential server crashes since day one of Alpha
  • Improved pathing near structures
  • Wreckage should no longer leave behind invisible pathing obstructions
  • Moving in and out of water much improved. Currently non-amphibious units can move through water, but it’s a step in the right direction.
  • MATCHMAKING! After you’ve played a solo game or two, please use this as the fastest way to get some games going with new people!
  • Client has been given its proper name and has an icon!
  • Bombers should no longer land and spread out during an attack, or hover over targets
  • Build icon placement changed
  • New unit icons for the build menu – more consistent style
  • In-game chat now works! Lobby chat now works better!
  • Radar blips now look like blips
  • Settings work: if you’re having performance problems, turn down or off shadows and virtual texturing first.
  • Graphics options pre-sets should work as expected now
  • Feedback when player is waiting for other players to join
  • Chat working in lobby now
  • Improved available game filters
  • Access to European servers
  • Fix for features on ATI
  • UI should always reappear after resize in the front end and lobby
  • Updated unit build icons
  • Strat icon updates for AA bot, T2 mex, T2 radar
  • Assisting and dodging improvements
  • Unit details popup UI added to game
  • You can no longer select enemy units and control them

A host of balance changes already, though this is still very preliminary as we get a feel for how people are playing:

  • Mortar shells shouldn’t disappear before they have a chance of hitting their target
  • Different firing style for Advanced Assault Bots
  • Adjusted firing style, damage and splash for T2 artillery bot, the “Stomper”
  • T2 Energy Plant cost increased
  • More T2 metal, cheaper storage
  • Missile turret range reduced, destroyers and frigates range increased
  • Slower turn rate on boats, increased build cost
  • Increased T1 energy production
  • Destroyer damage increased
  • Additional Artillery Balance
  • Commanders will no longer insta heal
  • Reduced turret health across the board
  • Reduced air unit HP and anti-air weapon damage
  • Reduced turn rate of all laser turret

 

 

Planetary Annihilation Alpha Trailer and Instant Access

We have released a new trailer, and have enabled instant Alpha access! Watch it here:

As most people know by now, our Alpha has started! This means that all of our alpha keys have gone out. If you already ordered and haven’t gotten your key yet, please check the bottom of this post. There are some suggestions on how to check the status of your key. You probably already have your key, it just may have gotten caught in a nasty spam filter.

We also have instant access enabled! If you buy a Galactic Edition or Cosmic Edition of Planetary Annihilation, you’ll get an email immediately providing immediate access to the alpha. We’ve said it a lot, but it warrants repeating: Alpha means the game is not finished! It isn’t heavily optimized yet, it doesn’t have all its features yet. It is not for the faint of heart. As of today, only Windows 64 (Vista, Win 7 & Win8) is supported. We expect Mac OS/X to be available in the next week or two, and Linux soon after. The 32-bit Windows client should also become available in that time frame. Windows XP is not supported. If you want to play PA, it’s time to upgrade to a newer OS. With all the caveats and addendums out of the way, we hope we see you!

Thanks and see you in game!

The Uber Entertainment Team

Finding my key information:

Step 1:

Check here: http://store.uberent.com/account/MyKeys

If your key is there, activate it, then download https://store.uberent.com/download/palauncher.exe

Don’t worry if you bought extra beta keys or retail keys that don’t show up here yet, especially if you bought three packs during the Kickstarter. They’ll be visible, and upgradeable, soon.

Step 2:

Ok, nothing there. I was an early backer or pre-order. Check here: https://store.uberent.com/Account/MyAccount

Are there any purchases? Even if they show “$0”? Yes? Check and make sure you actually have alpha access. Which means $90 or up for reward tier or Galactic or Cosmic edition.

Step 3:

If pre-order, now is when you email Uber with proof that you bought the alpha, and the account you bought it on.

If early access, proceed to step 4.

Step 4:

Go to  http://uberent.com/KS/FindMyPledge and enter in the email address you originally used in Kickstarter and check your inbox.

If you no longer have access to that email address, email Uber. And be prepared to provide proof that you are who you say you are.

If you have the same address, but aren’t seeing it, try verifying your mail at store.uberent.com and make sure you can get mail from us.

If you have done all that still nothing, you should email us.

If you did all that, and you honestly stepped through 1 – 3 and nothing, email us.

Alpha Rollout Started

As is clear from the buzz around twitter, reddit, our forums, and elsewhere, people already know the alpha is starting to get out to people. We started sending out the first batch of keys on Wednesday morning in Seattle, and we have sent out a total of 1600 or so. We will be sending out another batch tonight hopefully, and if all goes well, the final keys should hit mailboxes tomorrow!

With that in mind, we have decided to delay our official Steam launch til June 13th! This gives the early backers and pre-orders a little more time to get to know the current state of the game, allow us more time to iterate on the build, and just overall get this awesome experiment called Planetary Annihilation really moving! Even if you want to play on Steam and are part of the alpha, you can hop in as soon as you get your key, and once we have the Steam key exchange ready, you can convert your key then! If you’re eager to get in the alpha as quickly as possible, please go to http://store.uberent.com and you’ll be activated on the alpha very soon! Remember, this is only for the Galactic and Cosmic editions of the game. Warfare and Combat editions have different access dates. Please see the FAQ for more details.

We appreciate your patience and your understanding as we’ve been rolling this Alpha out, and we look forward to playing the game with you!

New Official Wiki and Community Page

Happy Friday, everyone!

We are pleased to announce today our partnership with Curse Gaming and their Gamepedia sites, and the launch of the official Planetary Annihilation wiki! You can check out their already informative wiki here: http://planetaryannihilation.gamepedia.com/Planetary_Annihilation_Wiki, and you can find our new community page here: http://www.uberent.com/pa/links/ which will be expanded as more fan and community sites come online and brought to our attention.

We’re making good progress on getting ready to send the Alpha out to people, and hope to have more information posted about it soon. Rest assured, you haven’t missed anything critical regarding alpha announcements yet. When we start sending out mails to the majority of alpha participants, we’ll announce it here, on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Google+!

Have a great weekend everyone, and we look forward to seeing you in game soon!

Planetary Annihilation May 17th: Steam Availability, and Project Calendar

Today we announced a couple big things in the galaxy of Planetary Annihilation!

Before getting into the details, please review our FAQ and our front page for more details about Steam keys, upgrading, and other topics.

First, we announced the project calendar. The alpha will being at the start of June, and run til the end of August. Our beta early access period will start in September and run through the end of November. The official retail launch will be in December.

As part of this, we are also announcing Steam Early access, which will start in the first week of June. Any one who was an early backer, or who has already pre-ordered, will have the opportunity to get a Steam key once the game is available on that service. We will provide more details when the Steam keys are available! Please don’t email us about them until then. 🙂

You can see our pre-view steam page here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/233250/

And if you pre-order today, you’ll be able to get your Steam key when Steam Early Access goes live. So head over to http://store.uberent.com and get your Early Access!

Have a great weekend, everyone!